Wednesday, 15 April 2015

A Fixer Upper

Like my fave song from Frozen. This blanket was a bit of a fixer upper.

Cathy, who owns a vintage reselling business and has a real eye for incredible things, bought this blanket for her granddaughter a while ago. It's obviously been used and reused and well loved. The colours are incredible and the stitching it beautiful. It's a real simple stitch, something like *treble into the top of the treble, ch1* and then in the corners it's very much a granny square corner. The yarn is something like a pure wool 2 maybe 3ply. But, as you can see, there was a stripe in it that was crocheted in something very different and it's that stripe (actually a partial stripe) that had worn through which is a such a shame.

Now, crochet is difficult to 'fix'. In knitting you can basically re-knit holes with a sewing needle if needs be, or knit a piece and kitchener stitch it in place or whatever and that's because knitted stitch, as I think of them, kind of aren't complete until you've done something to them. The best example of this is casting off, once you know you need to finish you have to do something else i.e. casting off in some way, whereas when you're crocheting the crochet stitch is complete within itself so when you know you want to finish you just stop. But because it's complete within itself in order to fix it you have to do some weird acrobatics to make sure that the stitch that was worked into the row that's gone wrong doesn't come undone. Acrobatics I tell you. 

Now, Cathy was going to do this fixing herself. She's a strong knitter but not so much a crocheter but she was going to have a go. But then she picked up some Riot DK and some Patons Diploma to make a fairisle for herself and she was gone. She brought the blanket to me, and the yarn and hook that we'd chosen to fix it with and hope for the best. That was a couple of weeks ago and I haven't had any time to do it until Monday but I did carry it round with me everywhere - like a bag lady - I was really looking forward to fixing this.

So on Monday I got to looking at the problem. Only part of the row was this thinner yarn but the colour that Cathy and I had chosen was the Pastel Green of the Navia Uno

 Because the Natural White just seem too stark against the ages creams in the blanket. But, despite the fact that the two halves of that stripe were in different yarns, they were both the same creamy colour and I just couldn't cope with the idea that half the round would be green and half would be cream. So the first decision I made was to do the whole round. I found the beginning of the thinner yarn that had broken, but before it had broken and chopped a small portion of it:

And then each horizontal chain bar between the trebles on the row above was chopped. snip snip snip. And then, for the section that I did at a time, I teased out the tiny curls of waste yarn. Cute.

Then I actually had to so some crochet, I did start by slip knotting and chaining some, and then I identified the bottom bit of the treble from the row above that I needed to secure:

I shoved the hook in which was pretty difficult because the hole at the bottom of said treble was super small because it closed around the thinner yarn. This became easier when I got round to replace the thicker bit:  

 and slip stitched through it.This was also a bit difficult because the old yarn was splitty from years of wear. But I did it! I soldiered on.

Then I worked a treble into the top of the treble from the row below, in the normal place that I would have done were I making the thing and then a quick chain before started the process of finding the bottom of the next treble to work into. It was slow going. A 2mm hook. Yeesh. And really, it's all a bit forward facing, like I've done a back post treble:

Can you see? However, when you look at the whole thing, it really works!

I'm pretty sure that were you not a crocheter I really don't think you would be able to tell. The colour works and from atop a pracing pony the slight variation in texture won't either. 

I am looking forward to giving this a jolly good block tonight because the Navia yarn fluffs up a beaut once it's blocked and I think it'll match the texture of the other yarn much better. BEAUTS!

And that's my fixing story. :)

Love Eleanor.


  1. Painstaking work but looks fabulous!

  2. It was fascinating to read how you've done this, how lucky we are to have someone do such a thoughtful, sensitive and wonderful job on a blanket everyone seems to love! I'm looking forward to getting it back now and so is Marnie - to enjoy in all its glory! I'm so glad you enjoyed doing it, Thank you.